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Paperback Arroyo: A Novel Book

ISBN: 0811836827

ISBN13: 9780811836821

Arroyo: A Novel

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

A blues singer with a buried voice and flame-red hair, Willie Lee moves to a dusty New Mexico mining town to escape her past. There, her dreams and passions mingle with those of the townspeople, especially Chavela, a woman who makes her realize that sometimes love chooses us. Then, just as Willie Lee finds her singing voice again, an accident threatens the town with disaster. Written with a cinematic eye and a penetrating lyrical power, Arroyo introduces...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Beautiful Book

I sadly turned the last page and started over from the beginning ... it is an amazing combination of beautiful writing, compelling characters and an interesting story line -- also a rare gem in that it is a lesbian romance that qualifies as real literature. I haven't been this drawn into a book in a long time.

One of the year's best first books.

I didn't put this book down until the end. I was sorry when it ended and wished I had the ability to put a really good book down and savory it a little. The characters were my familiar friends and neighbors brought to life in a place much like the mountain village of New Mexico I call home. There is great insight and compassion for people in this novel and a new, poetic style of storytelling that takes the reader far away from the asphalt and the noise and the pace of life. Buy one for yourself and your sister and your best friend. My father read my copy while visiting and loved this book. We are waiting for the next one by this great new author.

If I could give it 10 stars, I would

If you've been waiting, reading, looking all summer for that perfect book to ease or jolt you from whatever reality, good or bad, you're mired in....look no more. It's Jane Smiley meets Fried Green Tomatoes, only 500 times better. It's written art. Poetry with a capital "O", as in "Oh!" And not vacation bible school art, with popicle sticks and tasty elmers, it's real art. And not hoity toity oh look honey, Nozema on a toothpick at the Guggenheim, either. This is art from the heart. Phenomenal. Buy two, because you will be so compelled to give it to your best friend immediately as you set out on a solitary hike across the Yukon or random desert expanse in seach of the 'jus' good folk' in this book, should they really exist, yet want to keep it so you can go back and read all those beautiful, ick and angst free sentences you hurried through to see if poor ol Eugenio and hound and uncle got sucked under by the flooding toxic muck, and the next move of the mysterious Willie Lee. Great story, absolutely soulful, glistening writing. Don't start reading this book if you've got stuff to do, because believe me, it will go undone. Actually it took awhile for me to finally surrender to the on/off blues beat rhythm of the prose because I seem to live at a Requim for a Dream pace. It wasn't love at first sight. But once it got me, it got me for good, and there is/was no going back. Read this.


Summer Wood's book, Arroyo, tells a sublimely beautiful tale. The insight Ms. Wood has into humanity is profound; her characters are believable; attention to detail is exraordinary; and the humor that pervades this story is magical. As I read Arroyo, I felt as though my heart was being filled with love.In my opinion, one of the most important jobs an author has is to bring a satisfactory conclusion to all of the story lines that take place in their book, and Ms. Wood wraps things up perfectly. Upon finishing this story, my eyes filled with tears, and for thirty minutes all I was capable of doing was sit in my chair reflecting on the beauty of what I had just read. It was two weeks before I could even think of reading another book because I wanted to hold onto the feeling Arroyo left me with.Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this book. You will be hard pressed to find a more uplifting experience, and it is likely that you will walk away from Summer Wood's Arroyo with a new found joy in your heart.

Lively, moving and true description of NM village life

I, too, live in northern NM, and find that "Arroyo" rings remarkably true. As a retired "Anglo" I don't have access to many Hispanic homes. "Arroyo" has opened many of the doors and windows I drive past in my everyday life.The story, or rather the novel's intermingled stories draw you in, the main characters kindle your sympathy: they're winning, warm, at times quirky, prickly and even tragic, and informed by a both disconcertingly and disarmingly unamalgamated mixture of old traditions and new education, superstitions and science, passions and pragmatism and always the dogged, poverty-honed, gritted-teeth need to "keep on truckin' " through thick and thin, joys and catastrophes. The author expects her readers to be alert, her distinctive, at times sparkling style moves the narrative along very briskly. Don't read this book while sleepy or you'll miss many subtleties!"Arroyo" strikes me as a remarkable and successful feat, especially for an outsider (it bespeaks the author's deep engagement with and espousal of her neighbors) and for a first-time novelist.
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